Archive | August, 2014


30 Aug

Summer is over which means time to put away put away your whites, your shorts, your suntan lotion, and reflect on the things we did last summer that we’ll remember all winter long — except I had one of those “Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda” summers when I didn’t do any of the things I wanted and meant to do. Am I bitter? No more than usual. Am I depressed? (See previous response.) Because I have developed the useful skill of turning my pain in art…well, actually, other people do all the art. So are some of my favorite “Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda” songs by some of the best new and old jazz singers. Check back on Wednesday for a hint about next Saturday night’s show.

SONG TITLE  /  Artist  /  Album or CD Title


  • I COULD HAVE DANCED ALL NIGHT  /  Frank Sinatra  /  “Come Dance With Me”
  • WOULDN’T IT BE LOVERLY?  /  Shirley Horn  /  “I Love You, Paris”
  • I WOULD DO ANYTHING FOR YOU  /  Nat Cole  /  “Tell Me All About Yourself”
  • IF I HAD YOU  /  Nnenna Freelon  /  “Jazz Moods: Mood Indigo”
  • I COULD HAVE TOLD YOU  /  Arthur Prysock/Count Basie  /  “Arthur Prysock & Count Basie”
  • IT SHOULDN’T HAPPEN TO A DREAM  /  Diane Marino  /  “Loads Of Love”
  • WHY SHOULDN’T I  / (Mystery Vocalist)  /  Tony Perkins  /  “The Very Best of Tony Perkins”
  • I SHOULD HAVE KNOWN  /  Brianna Thomas  /  “You Must Believe In Love”
  • IT COULD HAPPEN TO YOU  /  Frank D’Rone  /  “Falling In Love With Love”
  • IF YOU COULD SEE ME NOW  /  Sarah Vaughan  /  “Send In The Clowns”
  • WOULD YOU BELIEVE?  /  Carmen McRae  /  “At Ratso’s”
  • PARIS MISMATCH  /  (Theme Music)  /  Cody Owen Stine  /  (Unreleased Master) 



27 Aug

Well, the wait is almost over! Of course, I mean for the iPhone 6. But while you’re waiting, who says you can’t have a little fun listening to the new season of Turntable For One starting this Saturday, August 30th? To ratchet up the excitement and anticipation someone besides me must be feeling, how about a hint about this Saturday night’s musical theme?


The songs this week are all inspired by everything I wanted to do, planned to do, and didn’t do during my summer hiatus. 

(Use what you know – that’s what I always say…)  Talk to you Saturday night!


TURNTABLE FOR ONE  Jazz Vocals and Live Radio 

Saturday Night   10:00 PM  (E.D.T.)

WMNR Fine Arts Radio and streaming on


Click on the link below to hear the latest Turntable For One promo.


18 Aug

Turntable For One returns to the air on August 30th at 10:00 PM (E.D.T.)

Click on the link below to hear the latest Turntable For One promo.

Meanwhile, I’ve been listening to some interesting new music.  

  • Swing Fever – Grand Masters Of Jazz – For more than three decades, Swing Fever has been a fixture and the #1 swing band of the San Francisco  Bay Area. Okay, maybe it’s not as well-known as Coit Tower but this band swings harder than any Bay Area landmark you can name. On this 1-CD, 2-DVD compilation, the band has pulled together some of the great moments when it was joined by such jazz legends as Clark Terry, Buddy DeFranco, and Terry Gibbs. Plus, as an added and delightful bonus, a number of songs by Jackie Ryan. Culled from performances in the late 1990s and the early 2000s, Terry, DeFranco, and Gibbs performances are at full maturity. Jackie Ryan’s understanding of songs and singing would deepen even more after these appearances and with each of her solo CDs since then. Best surprise for me: Body And Soul with Jackie Ryan and Terry Gibbs. Seven minutes of magic!
  • Chiara Izzi – Motifs –  This is another Dot Time Records CD and another total winner. This is a label which takes chances on artists who need to be heard. Chiara and her trio of musicians are Italian, although they travelled to Switzerland to record this CD (better chocolate?). English is obviously not her first language. Yet she certainly must have found an incredible Rosetta course in swing. Her voice is sweet and strong, her trio doesn’t shrink behind her for a beat. Amidst some swinging standards (you gotta hear My Shining Hour!) and a jazz standard or two are several songs Chiara has written, just lyrics for two, music and lyrics for one. Best surprise for me: A ballad with Ciara’s lyrics in Italian called Signi del tempo. I can’t understand a word she sings, but I really don’t care. It’s charming and lovely. 
  • The John La Barbera Big Band – Caravan – Did the La Barbera brothers – John, Pat, Joe – have lots of fights when they were growing up? If this CD is any indication, life for the La Barbera boys must have been pretty harmonious. (I’m expecting a ton of complaints about that pun. Stay tuned to see if I ever express remorse.) This is just an old-fashioned Big Band Jazz album and they shout that loud and proud. Arranged by John with a third of the tunes written by him, there are also tunes by Kenny Barron, McCoy Tyner, and others, plus, of course, the Ellington and Tizol title tune. Plenty of solos by drummer/brother Joe and Tenor/soprano sax/brother Pat, but every seat in the band seems to be filled by stars, even if their names are not well known.  I first became aware of John and Pat with a Buddy Rich Big Band. Joe worked in Bill Evans’s last trio, worked with Tony Bennett, and with a list of other jazz luminaries as long as your arm – unless maybe you’re Kareem Abdul Jabar. Best surprise for me: Caravan – not because I’ve not heard the song before, but because John lets two of his trombonists stretch out like Gumbys. And I am a sucker for trombone solos. 


Remember: Turntable For One returns August 30th at 10:00 PM (E.D.T.) on WMNR Fine Arts Radio and  You got that, right? 

If you want to get up to speed, why not try a Turntable For One podcast on PRX, the Public Radio Exchange? No pressure. I just didn’t want you to feel left out.



8 Aug

I’m still on summer hiatus for a couple more weeks, but I’ve been listening to some interesting music lately, some from singers I’ve known for a while but two I’ve never heard of before. 

  • Cyrille Aimee  –  “It’s A Good Day”  – This is not your typical Cyrille Aimee CD, although it’s getting harder to define what typical is for her. She’s recorded previously with the Chicago Jazz Orchestra, with her own combo, with solo guitar, and now, with two guitars, bass, and drums. She is turning out to be a jazz chameleon, though with much prettier skin and no evidence (that I can tell) of a tail the length of her body.  She sings (and sometimes coos) standards with really interesting rhythmic twists, she sings originals (though I don’t  think writing is her strength yet), and she gives her fabulous guitarists plenty of room to be, well, fabulous. Best surprise for me: The shifting, lightning tempo of “Love Me Or Leave Me” and the verse at the end of the song.
  • Freda Payne  –  “Come Back To Me Love” – With a long career, with hits and high points, with awards and adulation, what does Freda Payne have to prove? Who cares. I’m glad, at 72, she went back into a studio to record again in front of a big band arranged by pianist, Bill Cunliffe. The standards are great. The CD has more original songs written by Gretchen Valade, than standards. But the original songs suit Freda’s voice and temperament, though I think they lure her more into her soul and R&B side than her jazz side. Best surprise for me: What she does with the opening song, “You’d Be So Nice To Come Home To,” is astonishing – and I haven’t even started to hyperbolize.  
  • Paul Jost  –  “Breaking Through”  –  Looking for the newest crooner? Looking for a soft and soothing voice? It’s not Paul Jost. What he may lack in the pretty voice category, he more than compensates for with his raw passion and vocal musicianship. His arrangements defy the expected, his scatting is effortless, not tedious, and his energy would challenge any accompany musicians, but his band is up to the challenge. Best surprise for me: the really strange arrangement of “The Days Of Wine And Roses,” complete with SFX of kids playing on the street and Paul’s own body percussion. 
  • Julia Karosi  –  “Hidden Roots  –  Julia is a Hungarian jazz singer who writes original tunes and adapts Hungarian folk songs, including such familiar sing-along ditties as “Edesanyan Rozsafaja,” and “Imhol Kerekedik.” Julia has also written lyrics for other melodies, including one song in English. For the most part – and I think the best parts – Julia is just a voice, and a lovely one, adding vocalise seamlessly with her trio. Best surprise for me: Hungarian jazz may not have much connection with the Blues, but its connection to driving swing with a few added dashes of Hungarian musical inflections and tonalities make for an exciting CD.

My summer hiatus is nearly over and Turntable For One returns to the air on Saturday, August 30th at 10:00 PM (E.D.T.) on WMNR Fine Arts Radio and streaming live at I hope you’re as excited about my return as I am. If you’re not, just keep it to yourself. There’s enough negativity in the world already, don’t you think?

Need to remind yourself about how much fun it is to listen to Turntable For One?  How about a Turntable For One podcast on PRX, the Public Radio Exchange? Just click on the link below.